Best WordPress Image Gallery

In search of the best wordpress image gallery, we tried out several free WordPress plugins. Note that you must distinguish between “gallery” and “lightbox” as they are different things. A gallery usually only displays images together in a post in a certain way, whereas a lightbox is what displays a single image or video alone in a popup by dimming or darkening the rest of the webpage when you click it. Some galleries come with their built-in lightbox. Here are the WordPress plugins we tried:

  • Gallery Lightbox: good lightbox for the wp gallery but has annoying stand up animation
  • Photo Gallery: too complex
  • Gallery Bank – Photo Galleries & Albums: it’s ok but complex, has a polaroid-like lightbox with a resize animation from pic to pic, has social buttons under each pic, free version not customizable
  • Contest Gallery: has star ratings for pics
  • NextGEN Gallery: disappointing.. thumbnail display looks dated, not aligned, buggy
  • Image Gallery (huge-IT): free version not customizable, distorted thumbnails, disappointing
  • Robo Gallery – Photo Gallery and Images Gallery: is ok, complex, customizable, only has masonry thumbs, has lightbox but an ugly close button
  • Gallery by BestWebSoft: distorted thumbnails, lightbox didn’t work, complex
  • Foo Gallery:  great, needs foobox lightbox plugin with it, customizable, animated lightbox transition, can add shadows and borders
  • Best WordPress Gallery – Modula Grid Lite: no cutomization, blurred images
  • Polaroid Gallery: great, has polaroid photo layout. Integrates with the default wordpress galleries
  • Bilych Gallery: great, has nice interactive photo pile layout, can be used as a puzzle. Integrates with the default wordpress galleries
  • Pile gallery:  requires 2 other plugins to function, shows stacked pile of pics and it expands when clicked, integrates with the default wordpress galleries
  • WP Canvas – Gallery: good, adds a lightbox and more layout types to the default wordpress galleries
  • Circles Gallery: displays circular thumbnails
  • ST Gallery WP: only has different types of conventional sliders
  • MaxGalleria Lite: WordPress Gallery Plugin: good, in free version you can only upload images from pc and not choose from media library
  • Gallery Factory Lite: great, has a gallery manager, slightly customizable, and has a good lightbox
  • Photospace Gallery: has thumbnails on the left and big photo on the right
  • Easy fancybox: good, responsive lightbox with white border and arrows on pic
  • FooBox Image Lightbox: great lightbox, animated transition, for use with default WordPress gallery
  • Simple lightbox: looks very good but arrows and close button are on the pic
  • Fancy Lightbox: looks good, but it’s for single images only, not for galleries since it opens each image in a white frame and a close button but doesn’t have arrows for next image navigation.
  • Responsive Lightbox by dFactory: looks good, but arrows are on the bottom, it’s optimized for mobile, you can swipe to view next image


The best WordPress image gallery is the default gallery that comes with WordPress. To make the best of it, you can also activate the tiled gallery options that come within WordPress Jetpack. But the WordPress image gallery alone isn’t enough, you need to install a lightbox with it. The best WordPress image lightbox is FooBox Image Lightbox if you have an image gallery, or Fancy Lightbox for the display of single images only. Let us know what you think the best WordPress image gallery and the best WordPress image lightbox are.


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